Solutions Spotlight: Child's Rights Clubs

This is the second installment in Together for Girls’ featured series “Solutions Spotlight,” a collection of stories on recent innovative initiatives in violence prevention and response specifically impacting children, provided by the Impact and Innovation for Development Centre (IIDC).

 

IIDC is a non-governmental organization seeking to improve the wellbeing of vulnerable groups (such as children and youth) throughout Africa through the promotion of socio-economic development interventions and innovations. Read on to learn more about these promising initiatives taking place in East Africa.

Child’s Rights Clubs in Uganda: Students Aid in Cultivating a Non-Violent, Supportive School Setting

Osama J., 15, decided to support his female classmates by sewing and distributing reusable sanitary pads so that girls in his class could comfortably study. Osama, a member of the Child’s Rights Club in Western Uganda, says the plight of girls in his family and school moved him to act.

 

“I wanted to help my sisters make pads so that my parents can reduce their costs buying from the shops,” he said. “Also, I used to see girls in my class feel uncomfortable and sometimes look sick.”

 

Osama J. outside his school compound 

Photo credit: Bantwana World Education Initiative

The Western Uganda Bantwana World Education Initiative project introduced Child’s Rights Clubs in over 20 schools. Under the guidance of an adult mentor, these clubs provide a safe space for boys and girls to discuss the rights and responsibilities of children, issues of sexual violence, early marriages and early pregnancies. These messages are passed on to club members through activities such as handicrafts sessions, music, dance and drama, sports, club meetings/debates and girl talks.

 

Osama says that he is proud of the knowledge and skills he has developed through the club because more girls confide in him and reach out for support.

 

The Child’s Rights Clubs also promote peer-to-peer counseling to ensure that youth find solutions to their problems, without the use of violence. Since the program was introduced, 643 children (65 percent female) have been reached and empowered to use tools such as the “speak-out box” as a means of reporting and responding to violence. Through these activities, youth gain confidence and assertiveness which enables them to report their issues to mentors, teachers and other trusted community.

 

Osama says that he is now living his dream and looks forward to completing his education.

 

“After my studies I want to help children in need and become a journalist,” he said.

To learn more about Child’s Rights Clubs, visit the Bantwana World Education Initiative’s website. Be sure to check out part 1 of Solutions Spotlight along with more stories of promising interventions from the Impact and Innovation for Development Centre (IIDC) on TfG’s Safe Blog.

The Child’s Rights Clubs also promote peer-to-peer counseling to ensure that youth find solutions to their problems, without the use of violence. Since the program was introduced, 643 children (65 percent female) have been reached and empowered to use tools such as the “speak-out box” as a means of reporting and responding to violence.